YOUGHAL CONCERNED CITIZENS MEETING OCTOBER 2011
By Christy Parker | Photo: Will McGoldrick | Graphic: YOL
Some confusion persisted amongst the Youghal Concerned Citizens group regarding remedial work to facilitate the re-opening of the Diving Rocks on the Lighthouse Hill. The meeting was informed by chairman Jimmy Flanagan that builder Gerry Dennehy, who had volunteered to undertake the work to Cork County Council specification –subject to the necessary materials also being provided- had secured the necessary insurance cover to undertake the task.
However Youghal Town Council’s September meeting heard that Cork County Council was in the process of securing the estimated €21,000 to conduct through tender. This appraisal was delivered at a time when Mr. Dennehy’s insurance cover had not been secured.
Some discussion ensued across several points; whether it was still relevant that the YCC volunteer had acquired insurance cover, what time projection the county council held as regards undertaking the project and even if voluntary work on such a scale remained practical and acceptable in the eyes of statutory authorities these days. One argument suggested thanking Mr Dennehy for his offer and leaving the work to the county council’s process. Another line of thought proposed contacting the town clerk for clarification and this was agreed.
Further debate was conducted on the merits of assuming limited company status and of registering a trademark. Chairman Jimmy Flanagan said inquiries had revealed that the move would provide some protection to the group for large events such as an enhance mackerel festival, but not as much as had been hoped. The issue of using a trademark for marketing purposes also brought conflicting opinions, while caution was expressed about transforming what is effectively an all-embracing community group into a company, even if only for the sake of asset protection and marketing. Secretary Adrian Hyde said the issues of financial liability and matters like insurance cover were being confused. It was opted to invite expert opinion to the next meeting to clarify the situation in all its aspects.
The question of allotments was briefly discussed, with confirmation that the town council had informed the group that there were no allotment spaces currently available in the town. From the floor and as point of information, it was stated that a group that had sought allotments had acquired €1,800 grant from Cork County Council. Youghal Comhaltas had provided some limited space so they could acquire experience but, having to “travel 10 miles out of town” to find a suitable patch, the group was now fading.
Treasury, BEAG and Marketing,
The group’s finances stand at €1,082, following €309 spent on insurance and €1,800 funding from Youghal Credit Union towards the upcoming Halloween festival.
A letter from the Blackwater Estuary Action Group (BEAG) opposed to the treatment of hazardous waste at Eras Eco, was read to the meeting. The letter explained that BEAG was continuing its campaign behind the scenes, with on-going contact with Bord Pleanála and with the EPA on issues relevant to licensing and the company’s Environmental Impact Statement. It noted that Eras Eco Ltd had not yet applied for its licence renewal. BEAG had also entertained a presentation of the Aqua Critox technology intended to treat the hazardous waste and had been in touch with SCFI, the manufacturing the technology are awaiting a visit to the company’s base in Ringaskiddy to further investigate the technology. Posters and petitions were on-going and it was hoped to amass 10,000 signatures opposing the plant’s plans. In due course another public meeting and possibly a street protest would ensue.
Marketing was next on the agenda. It was accepted that the summer’s ‘meet and greet’ initiative aimed at tour bus companies had been a great success. More tour busses had visited Youghal as a result and many others had stayed longer, with passengers making their way onto the town’s streets. It had been a late-nurtured idea and plans for next summer were now in progress to progress it further and hopefully to establish Youghal firmly as a stopping point for the tour companies. The YCC marketing section intended to compile video and brochure presentation for tour buses, while also providing training programmes for those who will greet the arrivals, of which there are currently about 20 volunteers.
Other marketing suggestions included targeting the Youghal diaspora (preceding a similar initiative mooted by the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin a day later!). It was agreed to seek a meeting with the Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group ( YSDDG) to contemplate a co-ordinated approach.
Preparations for the upcoming inaugural ‘Halloween Spooktacular’ are at an advanced stage, the meeting heard, with flyers and posters going to print the following day. The secretary said the feedback from the public and business community was thus far very positive. “Any clubs or individuals participating in fancy dress –child or adult would be most welcome and add to the occasion and to participate in the 3 pm parade on Saturday October 29th.
The packed schedule, covering three days, would include a headless horseman riding down the main street, presentation on the Witch of Youghal, a witch trail, treasure hunts, pumpkin competitions, storytelling, fortune tellers and even a display of torture machines in Barry’s Lane. Many other attractions and novel activities would be included in what was described as “a unique and big selling point” for the town.
Treasurer Ruth Lee asked that volunteers for the YCC collection day on Friday October 28th. Anyone who can donate eve an hour of their time can contact the secretary on 024-91355. The next meeting of the YCC will take place on Thursday November 3rd in the Red Store at 7.30 pm.